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Is Democracy highly overrated?
Tuesday August 20, 2013 1:06 PM, Tanveer Ahmad,

Democracy as we all know is a form of governance of the people, by the people and for the people but it is more often than not 'majority' people. The elected representatives are always under pressure to keep major share of voters happy even if it goes against the spirit of fair and good work if they wish to get themselves re-elected. Thus, most of the times they act as politicians rather than statesmen.

Let us take an example of a street in an old city which has very narrow and congested roads and which is the main road of the city for transportation and commuting but remains choked by shops on both sides bustling with crowd of people leading to traffic jam round the clock on this 8 km stretch of road. Population has increased manifold in the town over the last 40yrs or so but this road remains fixed in its width and importance. Many experts assigned to study this problem by successive governments have given submissions for the urgent need to widen the road to check deteriorating services of critical importance .With all major hospitals, markets and government offices on or around this road traffic jam continue to be a nemesis both for office goers, transport goods as well as patients being carried in ambulances fighting death. However, no government would dare to implement the recommendations of the commission as it is this stretch that has many businessmen who would bite the ruling party hard in their next election given their clout on majority of voters.

So, the only solution that remains with the government is to keep the recommendations where they best belong ,in the selves of its offices while people continue to die in absence of critical healthcare services in time and a commerce industry growing at a very slow pace in absence of a decisive statesman with a proper implementation model.

If democracy had all the nicer things about it, why was it put under the guardianship of a constitution? It could have been easily done away with just a simple clause of 'rule of law' putting all its faith in democracy and its ultimate guardians, we, the people. Is it that most of our founding fathers did not have enough faith in the rule of people when they decided to give us a constitution to guard our actions and a president to give us continuity?

A minority community always fears unabated repercussions of any act even remotely attributed to it. In a society elected by majority of votes any polarisation on the basis of religious, regional or lingual lines can potentially cut the very lifeline of minority class.

In a state like Gujarat ,where government had been seen evidently complicit in crimes against its minorities, its continuous re-election goes on to show what a polarised voting can do .When foreign policy and long term national interests get influenced by popular outcry ,it fades a distinct line between democracy and mobocracy.

In absence of statesmen who could put overall national interests and welfare of all countrymen much above their political interests, is it naive to say, Democracy in its present form is highly overrated?

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